Upper Boat Studios

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Coordinates: 51°34′33″N 3°18′00″W / 51.575763°N 3.3°W / 51.575763; -3.3 (BBC Studios, Upper Boat) Upper Boat Studios was a television studio complex operated by BBC Wales and based in Upper Boat, a village on the outskirts of Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taf, near Cardiff in Wales. The studios were officially opened on 27 July 2006 by Welsh Enterprise Minister Andrew Davies,[1] for the purpose of producing Doctor Who and its spin-offs. The onsite canteen was called the 'Blue Box Cafe', referring to both its outside appearance and as a reference to the TARDIS.[2]

By 2011, Doctor Who was the only programme still based at Upper Boat, following the move of several productions to the new Roath Lock studios. Doctor Who itself relocated to Roath Lock throughout 2012, with the last filming day at Upper Boat on 11 May 2012.[3] The facility was not expected to be used as a studio again.[4]

Despite the studio closure, production on Sherlock series 3 continued at the studios until September 2013, making it the most recent production based there.[5]


Productions based at Upper Boat Studios[edit]

Title Genre # of Episodes Produced from Notes
Sherlock[6] Crime drama 9 + pilot 2009–2013
Doctor Who Science fiction drama 66 2006–2012
Doctor Who Confidential Making-of documentary 60 2006–2011
  • Moved from Unit Q2 in Newport
The Sarah Jane Adventures Science fiction children's drama 53 2006–2010
  • Entire series produced at Upper Boat Studios
Torchwood Science fiction drama 31 2006–2008
Torchwood Declassified Making-of documentary 27 2006–2008
  • Moved to Los Angeles
Totally Doctor Who Children's magazine programme 12 2007
  • Moved from BBC Wales
Sarah Jane's Alien Files Children's compilation programme 6 2010
  • Entire series produced at Upper Boat Studios

Productions partially filmed at Upper Boat Studios[edit]

Title Genre # of Episodes Produced from Notes
Upstairs Downstairs Costume drama 3 2010


  1. ^ "BBC Studios". Doctor Who Locations Guide. Retrieved 20 October 2009. 
  2. ^ "Arthurian Legend". Doctor Who Confidential. 15 May 2010. BBC Three. 
  3. ^ "Last day of Doctor Who filming at Upper Boat...". Twitter. 2012-11-05. Retrieved 2012-05-18. 
  4. ^ "That's it, I'm afraid.". Twitter. 2012-11-05. Retrieved 2012-05-18. 
  5. ^ "Still at Upper Boat Studios.". Twitter. 2013-08-22. Retrieved 2014-10-19. 
  6. ^ a b "Upstairs, Downstairs: The Return of a Classic". The Stage. 2010-12-03. Retrieved 2011-05-11. 
  7. ^ "Work starts on BBC Wales drama village in Cardiff Bay". BBC News. 2010-06-24. Retrieved 2011-05-11.